Learning styles greatly impact the effectiveness of a study method. Knowing your learning style can be a vital step in improving your comprehension and long-term retention of materials. There are three learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Studies have found that incorporating elements of all three styles shows improvements across the board. However, focusing on your primary learning style is often a simpler approach.
So what if you don't know which kind you are? Most people are a combination of two, with one strong primary. Focus on your primary first, but don't be afraid to incorporate your secondary style. Match yourself to the description as best you can, then follow study tips provided:
Visual learners remember pictures and words---things they have read or watched. They typically have to write out or visualize spelling words or math problems. Seeing lyrics in print is the best way for them to learn a song.
• Working alone is often best and less distracting
• Re-read material, take notes or draw pictures
• Use flash cards
• When receiving massage, visualize the movements of the therapist
Auditory learners remember not only what was said, but also how it was said. They work best interacting with others, and would much rather discuss than read or write. Songs tend to be easy to learn and background noise can be very distracting
• Study with a partner or small group; discussion and conversation boosts comprehension
• Record lectures and listen to them later for reinforcement
• Obtain a copy of music used when performing a massage; practicing with this same music helps trigger recollection of new material
• Have someone quiz them verbally or read material aloud
Kinesthetic learners learn best by doing, especially following a demonstration. They tend to have difficulty concentrating while just reading alone, and tend to move while seated, like bouncing a leg. They often use hand gestures while talking or mouth words to songs.
• Rewriting notes or drawing pictures is good reinforcement
• When learning anatomy, find the structures on themselves and touch them, stating the name aloud
• For memorization, spread two stacks of cards---one with questions, the other with answers---and match them. Physically moving cards around increases their retention of materials
• Don't be afraid to ask for a demonstration to reinforce understanding of material